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Shipping to Turkey: Packing/Disinfecting/Antalya

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Hello everyone,

 

I am researching shipping options to get some personal goods from the USA to Antalya.

 

SELF-PACKING:

 

I'm comparing companies that pack goods for you and some that allow you to pack. I'd like to avoid excessive costs when the "pros" pack for you.  The packing should be fairly easy to do with standard boxes, since I'd only be shipping books, clothing and some other personal items--no furniture, nothing complicated.

 

However, from one company (one that packs for you), I received a document listing Turkey's customs regulations for importing personal goods. In one section it states, "The shipment may contain no items packed by the owner (PBO)." There is a lot of contradictory information out there about many procedures in Turkey, so I'm looking for more information based on people's actual experiences.

 

Has anyone ever packed his/her own goods for shipment to Turkey in a crate, liftvan or container? Any issues with customs if this was done? Does Turkish customs require that professional packers sign and verify a list of inventory?

 

DISINFECTION of USED CLOTHING:

 

I also looked into shipping boxes as individual parcels via the USPS/UPS/Fedex/etc. and read that boxes of used clothing must have a "certificate of disinfection." Does anyone know anything about this, and if it's true, what method I'd have to use and where I'd get the form?

 

Would I need such a certificate on each box of clothing inside a crate if I use a shipping company, or do they just fumigate big shipments at customs?

 

SHIPPING to ANTALYA:

 

(Please also see my post in the Antalya Forum.)

 

It seems like most shipping companies go to Istanbul or Izmir, but not Antalya--even though it has an industrial port. Does anyone have advice about shipping goods to Antalya, perhaps using a local Turkish company that could transfer my goods from Izmir once they go through customs? Could it go by ship or would it be better by truck?

 

I'd appreciate anyone's advice!

 

Thank you : )

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Several years ago I moved to Turkey and shipped things using a professional moving company.

 

 

The packing should be fairly easy to do with standard boxes, since I'd only be shipping books, clothing and some other personal items--no furniture, nothing complicated.

 

I don't know how much you have, but I had some six boxes full of such things, and I just sent them by US mail. I recall it was pretty expensive because of the weight, some $600 USD or so. Some of it I had to pick up at a central PTT (post office) because apparently some of my stuff was subject to customs. I had to pay extra for the customs fees, but I don't recall how much it was unfortunately. In that case they put a note in my mail box and asked me to go pick it up, and told me where the packages were.

 

 

However, from one company (one that packs for you), I received a document listing Turkey's customs regulations for importing personal goods. In one section it states, "The shipment may contain no items packed by the owner (PBO)." There is a lot of contradictory information out there about many procedures in Turkey, so I'm looking for more information based on people's actual experiences.

 

I have shipped stuff that I have packed myself. The gist of it is that any of the personally-packed boxes in the shipment may be opened and inspected.

 

 

Has anyone ever packed his/her own goods for shipment to Turkey in a crate, liftvan or container? Any issues with customs if this was done? Does Turkish customs require that professional packers sign and verify a list of inventory?

 

Yes. There were no customs issues in that case. The company had a customs broker who took care of getting it through customs, I would assume this is standard in the property moving industry. And there is an inventory which is taken at the place where the goods are picked up. You get a copy, to verify that everything is still there when you receive it at your address in Turkey.

 

 

DISINFECTION of USED CLOTHING:

 

I also looked into shipping boxes as individual parcels via the USPS/UPS/Fedex/etc. and read that boxes of used clothing must have a "certificate of disinfection." Does anyone know anything about this, and if it's true, what method I'd have to use and where I'd get the form?

 

Would I need such a certificate on each box of clothing inside a crate if I use a shipping company, or do they just fumigate big shipments at customs?

 

 

 

This I don't know about. Probably the best source of info on this is from the cargo company you want to use.

 

 

It seems like most shipping companies go to Istanbul or Izmir, but not Antalya--even though it has an industrial port. Does anyone have advice about shipping goods to Antalya, perhaps using a local Turkish company that could transfer my goods from Izmir once they go through customs? Could it go by ship or would it be better by truck?

 

I don't know. My shipment went to Izmir.

 

Unfortunately I don't know all of the answers, but I hope that helps.

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Thanks for the info, Ken. I appreciate it.

 

Good to know I could pack my own boxes and have the professionals handle the shipping and customs. I figured any of my boxes would be subject to opening.

 

My goal volume was about 150 cubic feet or 4 cubic meters, reduced from 185/5.27. I thought shipment with a crate or liftvan on a LCL load (sharing a container) might be cheaper overall than individually shipping each box via a parcel service or the post office--but it really depends. My only full-service quote from a Turkish company door-to-door was almost $6000, which seemed high--and they wouldn't reduce their quote even if I reduced my volume by a third. Not sure if this is typical for this distance and volume, haven't heard from other companies yet--hence looking into professional movers that let me pack. Just hoping I don't get low-balled and end up paying triple.

 

From what I've seen, the USPS has the best rates over private parcel companies but they must be higher than when you shipped several years ago. Still good to know in case I end up weeding out a ton and just shipping a few essential boxes--or storing some and having my family ship a little at a time. More risk of loss, I suppose.

 

For what you can fit into a large suitcase, excess baggage on an airline seems to have similar prices comparable to the USPS; THY has a great rate from the US to Turkey but they limit extra bags to only 1 or 2--and even then you have to put in a special request. So I'm still hoping I can do a larger shipment. We will see...

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My only full-service quote from a Turkish company door-to-door was almost $6000, which seemed high--and they wouldn't reduce their quote even if I reduced my volume by a third. Not sure if this is typical for this distance and volume, haven't heard from other companies yet--hence looking into professional movers that let me pack. Just hoping I don't get low-balled and end up paying triple.

 

A smart move. Locally, I've gotten prices for moving reduced a lot by bargaining it down. But rather than reducing the volume, just tell them it's too high and you need a lower price. Of course there are certain realities involved, but if you're dealing with a Turkish company, the first price is going to be a starting point for negotiations, not a final price.

 

I've also shipped with excess baggage and found the cost to be comparable. Maybe you can ship small, more important items that way, and use a mixture of the three possibilities.

 

One warning. If your stuff isn't in Turkey in 30 days, from that time on visit the main post office in Antalya. There is always a possibility that a postman has put a notification of delivery on your apartment's door or in your mailbox, but something happened to it. If you don't pick it up, they'll ship it back, payable by the recipient listed in the sending address! This has also happened to me.

 

The main PTT (post office) you will need to visit in Antalya is here:

 

Postal Operations Center, Antalya

 

Take the receipt (with bar code) on the paper you get from the post office in the US.

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You posted this on another forum, I will answer you here as I did there:

 

You wrote: 

"I'd only be shipping books, clothing and some other personal items--no furniture, nothing complicated."

I moved here 15 years ago from the States and made the foolish mistake of shipping "books, clothing and some other personal items." I would not do it again. I sent by USPS as UPS/FedEx were prohibitively expensive. My boxes came "over the ocean blue" by ship, took almost two months to arrive relatively undamaged, OK as far as that went. Still had some customs taxes I had to pay which were more than the value of what I shipped. I soon realized I did not need most of the stuff I brought. I also put a number of items in storage, thinking I would send for them later. Never did, on my last trip to the States, I gave away or sold everything I had in storage.

Unless your books and clothes have some nostalgic value or are not replaceable, I suggest you not bother. If you goof up via customs, you are into a real mess of a bureaucracy. You will need a Turkish person who knows about this stuff, there are many, who for a fee will sort things out, some speak English, some not.

Sell everything, pack a bag, buy what you need here. Clothes are relatively cheap compared to the States and books can be ordered from English-language bookstores in Istanbul or from Amazon. I only read e-books now, quite easy to find, buy (or not), download, and read.

Otherwise I guess I am not much help.

Good luck

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